On Friday, the Georgian parliament will again discuss the question of electing a new speaker to replace Zurab Zhvania who has resigned. For two days now, there is no quorum in the parliament to discuss this question. The deputies are actively holding consultations in the factions behind closed doors. According to the regulations, 157 deputies have to be present at the parliamentary session to put the question of electing the speaker to the vote, and 118 deputies have to vote in favour of a candidate. Altogether, there are 235 deputies in the Georgian parliament. At the present time, three candidacies are applying for the post: Nino Burdzhanadze, chairwoman of the parliamentary committee for foreign relations who is backed by the supporters of the former speaker, Zurab Zhvania. Another candidate is Vazha Lordkipanidze, former minister of state and former Georgian ambassador to the Russian Federation, who has been nominated by the forces supporting the Georgian President. The third candidature is Dzhemal Gogitidze - chairman of the biggest parliamentary faction Revival which represents in the parliament the party which is headed by the leader of Abkhazia (a republic of Georgia), Aslan Abashidze. The candidature of Dzhemal Gogitidze is supported by all factions of the Revival bloc except of traditionalists - supporters of Nino Burdzhanadze. Quite possible that another two candidates will be nominated. Part of the deputies believe that so far there is no chance for any candidate to collect 118 votes. If no candidate nets the necessary number of the votes the election of the speaker will be held in two rounds.
Military expert Vladimir Orlov expressed the opinion that the Pentagon is preparing to strike at least four Russian regions.